Theresa May must “believe in Britain” and “chuck Chequers”, Jacob Rees-Mogg and more than 60 Tory Eurosceptics have said in a letter to grassroots Conservatives. Earlier this month the Prime Minister wrote a letter to all members of the Conservative Party defending her plan, saying that it “honours” the result of the referendum. Mr Rees-Mogg has now written a letter which is being sent to Conservative Associations across the country with a point-by-point rebuttal of Mrs May’s Chequers compromise, describing it as the “wrong deal for Britain”. It states that the UK “does not need to do a deal with the EU” but the EU “needs to do a deal with us at all costs”.
Jacob Rees-Mogg last night called on the Prime Minister to ‘chuck Chequers’ as he told grassroots Tories the UK should not fear a no-deal Brexit. In a strongly worded letter to the chairmen of local Conservative parties, he said Theresa May should stand up to ‘bullying’ from Brussels and ‘believe in Britain’. Mr Rees-Mogg’s forthright message came just as Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab prepared to publish a series of papers on how Britain will cope if negotiations with the EU collapse.
BRITAIN can dominate world trade even if we leave the EU without a deal, leading experts insisted last night, as Jacob Rees-Mogg warned the “EU is a failing economic model”. Economists and MPs have said the increasingly likely scenario would mean the UK is free to strike a string of deals with emerging global power- houses. Today’s special investigation is the first in a series in which the Daily Express, the newspaper that led the crusade to leave the EU, examines the positive impact Brexit will have on key areas that affect millions of Britons including borders and security, agriculture and farming, finance and the NHS.
Brussels is being irresponsible by refusing to help to limit the impact of a no-deal Brexit, Dominic Raab will say today, as he raises the stakes by releasing detailed contingency plans for a disorderly split. In his first big speech since taking over as Brexit secretary Mr Raab calls on the European Commission and other EU states to work with the UK to ensure that data and goods keep flowing even if Britain leaves without an agreement. As he marks the release of the first of more than 80 no-deal technical notices Mr Raab says that in some cases Britain would take “unilateral action to maintain as much continuity as possible . . . irrespective of whether the EU reciprocates”.
Cabinet minister Dominic Raab risks a new row with Brussels on Thursday as he demands the EU do more to ensure adequate preparation for a no-deal Brexit. The Brexit secretary will say British and European institutions have not been able to work together in enough areas to guarantee the smooth continuation of life if negotiations fail to reach a deal. The Independent understands some British officials feel that while member states are ready to begin no-deal preparation in more areas, the European Commission is not facilitating cooperation.
Britain would take unilateral action in the event of a no-deal Brexit to keep trade and transport flowing freely, Dominic Raab will pledge. In a speech coinciding with the publication of the first batch of technical notices laying out the government’s contingency plans for a no-deal scenario, the Brexit secretary will say that Britain would not risk triggering a tit-for-tat battle with Brussels by imposing new border checks or travel restrictions. “Our overarching aim is to facilitate the smooth, continued functioning of business, transport, infrastructure, research, aid programmes and funding streams,” he will say.
THE HOUSE of Lords has called an emergency session to give peers a chance to grill Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab on the progress of exit talks amid growing fears of the collapse of EU talks sparking a no deal. The Lords’ EU Committee is taking the unusual step of convening during its six-week summer recess to quiz Mr Raab on subjects including how the Government plans to solve the Irish border conundrum and what preparations are being made for no deal. The extraordinary evidence session on Wednesday, August 29 will take place exactly seven months before the UK is due to leave the European Union.
EUROPEAN Union Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has outlined the three issues that must be resolved as Britain and the bloc enter the final stages of Brexit negotiations. Mr Barnier said these three issues must be resolved – a hard border or legally operative Irish backstop, the protection of geographical indications and a political declaration of the future relationship between the EU and Britain. The EU Brexit negotiator laid out these three vital hurdles during a press conference with Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab in Brussels on Tuesday.
British businesses will be required to treat EU nations as “third countries” in the event of a no deal Brexit, declaring all imports from the continent and paying customs duties, The Daily Telegraph has learned. The Brexit Secretary will today publish around 20 technical papers setting out plans for a no deal on areas including customs, health and farming after clashes in Government over concerns that they make leaving the EU without a deal look like “Armageddon”.
BRUSSELS has fired a strong warning to the UK over market access after Brexit, insisting Britain will not receive special treatment following the split. EU financial services chief Valdis Dombrovskis warned market access should never be taken for granted, with Brussels toughening assessments of whether countries meet the conditions. He said: “We see that there is a need to strengthen systemic monitoring of continued compliance. So this is one area where we will come with a more systematic approach.” His warning comes after EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said exit talks are unlikely to meet an October deadline set by the European Council.
Jeremy Corbyn has declared Labour would “absolutely” vote against a “no deal” Brexit in Parliament, as he again failed to state whether he believes Britain will be better outside the EU. The Labour leader insisted his party “would not countenance” the UK leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement, saying it would be “very, very bad for the whole country”. Mr Corbyn spoke ahead of the government publishing the first batch of papers outlining contingency plans for such a scenario, after Prime Minister Theresa May ordered Whitehall to step up no deal preparations last month.
The BBC would be forced to publish ‘equality data’ on the social class of everyone who works for it under plans to be set out by Jeremy Corbyn today. The Labour leader will call for ‘complete transparency’ on the corporation’s workforce in an attempt to boost ‘diversity’. He will also suggest putting the BBC’s board appointments to a public vote and demand that it sever all ties with government to make it ‘freer’. And under radical plans on BBC funding, Mr Corbyn will say that he would make technology giants such as Amazon and Netflix hand over a slice of their cash to pay for its programmes.
A windfall tax could be levied on tech giants such as Google, Amazon and Facebook to pay for public interest journalism, Jeremy Corbyn is to say. The Labour leader will call for radical reform of the media landscape in a speech at the Edinburgh TV Festival. Other ideas include a “digital licence fee” – paid for by big tech companies and internet providers – and publishing social class data on BBC employees. The Conservatives said the “internet tax” would increase consumers’ bills. Low levels of trust in the media cannot be ignored, Mr Corbyn will say on Thursday in the Alternative MacTaggart lecture – a speech which will be watched closely as a guide to how a Labour government might approach media policy.
Britain will today threaten to pull the plug on the £1billion a year in foreign aid it gives the EU in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt will warn Brussels the funding will only continue if British aid groups can take part in EU-run projects. The warning comes on the same day as ministers publish the first of a series of technical notices designed to prepare citizens and businesses for what they may need to do if a Brexit deal is not reached. As part of this, Miss Mordaunt will today write to UK-based charities to explain how Britain could stop spending its aid cash through Brussels.
BRITAIN will today threaten to pull hundreds of millions of pounds from European foreign aid projects if Brussels bars British charities from working on them after Brexit. The European Commission has said contracts with UK organisations will be cancelled if Britain leaves the EU without a deal. And Eurocrats told British NGOs bidding for EU aid contracts that they will have to fund humanitarian work themselves. It has sparked a furious reaction from Aid Secretary Penny Mordaunt, who last night fired off a furious letter warning them of a huge funding black hole if they refuse to work with British charities after Brexit.
A MAN dashes behind the lorry, pulling at the locks until the heavy metal door swings open. He grabs the back of the massive vehicle as it speeds around the roundabout, desperately holding on. But as the 40 tonne lorry continues down the road, gaining speed, he loses his grip and is dragged along for 50 feet. Eventually, he loses hope and lets go, spinning on the road as cars are forced to swerve around him. It is just one attempt he will make that day – a desperate quest to sneak onto a truck destined for his dream home, England.
Over 100 African migrants forced their way into the Spanish territory of Ceuta on Wednesday after storming a barbed-wire border fence with Morocco and attacking police with caustic quicklime, a local official said. In the second assault on the Spanish border in a month, seven police officers were lightly injured when migrants threw quicklime and battery acid as they tried to scale the fence, a spokesman for the Spanish government’s representative in Ceuta told AFP, adding that some 115 migrants managed to enter the tiny territory.
Around 200 illegal migrants a day are trying to break into lorries leaving for the UK from the French port of Ouistreham, as the migrant crisis shifts away from the previous hotspot of Calais. Police in the small French port town, a three-hour drive south of Calais, say the migrants are attempting to board ferried bound for the English port of Portsmouth. Local officers told the BBC, which broadcast the shocking footage, that the huge increase in security in Calais meant migrants are shifting their focus.
Immigration is responsible for more than four fifths of the unprecedented surge in Britain’s population this century, a report claims today. Some 82 per cent of the huge rise from 2001 to 2016 can be attributed to the arrival of immigrants and, subsequently, their UK-born children, according to research by the think-tank MigrationWatch. Its study has exposed how the impact of immigration has been understated, and claims that of the 6.6million extra people added to the population during those 15 years, 5.4million were the result of mass immigration – the biggest ever wave of incomers.
BORIS Johnson could be the future PM because he’s already “changed British history”, Jeremy Hunt said today. The Foreign Secretary also lavished praise on Donald Trump’s foreign and economic policy during a trip to the US capital. During an interview with Axios in Washington, Mr Hunt was asked if he sees Boris – the previous Foreign Secretary – as a potential replacement for Theresa May. He replied: “Well Boris is someone I would never underestimate. “This is a man who has changed the course of British history through his campaigning for Brexit. “I don’t agree with him on everything, but, you know, who knows for the future?” Boris has alienated other senior Tories with his recent column mocking the burka – with Theresa May calling on him to apologise.
Jeremy Hunt today praised Boris Johnson for ‘changing history’ with Brexit – and said his fellow Tory could still become Prime Minister. The Foreign Secretary refused to rule out Mr Johnson getting the top job in an interview on the latest stage of his US visit. Mr Hunt, who held talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington this afternoon, also said now believed Britain would be ‘better off’ outside the EU. And he risked a fresh row by making clear that Donald Trump was right to speak out against protectionism on trade by Brussels.
Jacob Rees-Mogg has disowned calls by Leave.EU for its backers to join the Conservative party to support him in a potential future leadership bid, warning against a takeover by single-issue “fanatics”. Leave.EU, the pro-Brexit campaign group co-founded by rightwing businessman Arron Banks, claims to have 88,000 supporters, and has urged them to “flood” the Tory party to elect a “true Brexiteer” such as Rees-Mogg or Boris Johnson as the next leader. Leave.EU’s activities have prompted centrist MPs including Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan to warn about the risk of “entryism” in their party.
The Conservative Party has suffered a collapse in the income it draws from membership fees, official data has revealed. The party’s accounts show money the Tories earn from their membership plummeted by more than 40 per cent in 2017. By contrast, membership income for the Labour Party grew by around 12 per cent, while the Liberal Democrats saw theirs rise by almost a third. The drop in fees comes amid ongoing concern within the Conservatives about the party’s dwindling activist base, not to mention a new entryism threat from supporters of the Brexit-backing Leave.EU group.
The Conservatives would be better off with Theresa May in a General Election than any other leader, a poll has found. The Tories’ election prospects would be harmed if Boris Johnson or Jacob Rees-Mogg were in charge, according to the findings. The results will make welcome reading for No 10 ahead of what is expected to be a tumultuous party conference season. Replacing Theresa May with Boris Johnson, or other putative leadership candidates, would not boost the Conservative party’s chances of winning the next election, the ICM poll for the Guardian found. It revealed that voters believe the Tories would be more likely to lose the next election if Mrs May was replaced by Johnson or five other potential successors.
Nicola Sturgeon has been urged to abandon her threat of a second independence referendum after official figures revealed that Scotland ran up a £13 billion deficit last year that was four times the size of the UK’s. Official figures on the state of the country’s finances also disclosed a record “Union dividend” of nearly £1,900 for every man, woman and child in Scotland. That figure is made up of public spending that was £1,576 higher per person north of the border in 2017/18, while Scotland’s public sector tax contributions were £306 less per head.
SCOTTISH people get £1,600 a year more in state funding than the rest of the UK do, new figures have revealed. Official stats show people north of the border get £13,530 a year each from the public coffers, a record high, compared to the national rate of £11,954. It comes from the Scottish Government’s annual report on spending and revenue, which recorded a national overspend in 2017-18 of £13.4billion, or 7.9 per cent of its economic output. That is four times the UK level of 1.9 per cent – but was down from 8.9 per cent the previous year.
Nicola Sturgeon denied that Scotland was being subsidised by Westminster after figures showed that public spending north of the border is more than £1,500 per person higher than the figure for the whole of the UK. Scotland’s notional fiscal deficit — the gap between what it raises and what it spends — was £13.4 billion in the 2017-18 financial year, down £1 billion compared with the previous year. However, this represents 7.9 per cent of GDP, compared with the 1.9 per cent recorded for the UK as a whole, and more than double the limit allowed by the European Union for independent member states.
The government has been accused of relaxing animal welfare standard in order to ramp up sales of Islamic Sharia-law compliant halal meat to Saudi Arabia. A massive deal, worth around £25 million over the next five years, was recently struck with the hard-line Islamist nation, with plans to sell British non-stun lamb to the Muslim state. Marc Cooper, the head of the RSPCA’s farm animal department, said that 84 per cent of halal meat in the UK was stunned before slaughter. It is European Union (EU) law to stun animals before they are killed and animal rights groups say it is critical for welfare, but religious exceptions are made.
Pet shops will be banned from selling puppies and kittens under government plans to crack down on puppy farms. In a move designed to reduce serious health problems which afflict animals reared in poor conditions, pets younger than six months old will have to be bought directly from the breeder or a rescue centre. The proposals were announced today by Michael Gove, the environment secretary, and will now go out to public consultation. It follows the Lucy’s Law campaign, which has called for an immediate end to the sale of young pets by third-party commercial dealers.
Ministers will ban sale of puppies and kittens from pet shops and unscrupulous puppy farms following a campaign to introduce a ‘Lucy’s Law’. The ban on third party sales of the pets should help to drive up animal welfare standards, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said. It comes after the prominent Lucy’s Law campaign to end the scandal of animals being bred in cruel conditions and transported long distances to be sold. The campaign was named after a cavalier spaniel who was rescued after being kept in a cage on a puppy farm. The ban will include pet shops, puppy farms and other commercial dealers, according to the plans put out for consultation.